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Moses Striking the Rock

Jan Steen, Dutch (active Leiden, Haarlem, and The Hague), 1626 - 1679

Made in Netherlands, Europe

c. 1660-1661

Oil on canvas

37 3/8 × 38 3/4 inches (94.9 × 98.4 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
Cat. 509

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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In this painting Jan Steen depicts one of his rare biblical scenes. He shows the prophet Moses during the journey of the nation of Israel through the desert to Canaan. When the people grumbled because of thirst, Moses miraculously produced water from a stone, following God's command. However, he struck the rock twice, betraying doubt, and God punished him by denying him entry to the Promised Land.